A woman bit off half a barmaid’s ear in a toilet assault because she was angry that she had been barred from a pub, a jury was told.
Complainant Carly Carroll was left with bite marks to her face and half of her left ear completely severed after the attack in the Railway pub on Blackburn Road in Accrington, Preston Crown Court heard.
Lisa Taylor, 45, of Bold Street, Accrington, has pleaded not guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm but admitted a lesser charge of unlawful wounding.
David Bruce, prosecuting, told the jury that before the incident on October 28, 2014 there had been ‘bad feeling’ between the two women resulting from a ‘disturbance’ six weeks previously at the Abbey pub on Bank Street where Ms Carroll worked behind the bar.
This disturbance had seen Lisa Taylor barred from the building.
Mr Bruce claimed Ms Taylor held a grudge against Ms Carroll which led to her using her teeth as a weapon to ‘seriously assault’ her following a chance meeting.
The jury heard that on the night of the attack, Ms Carroll had been celebrating a friend’s birthday in Accrington when she encountered Ms Taylor and had a ‘verbal altercation’ with her, after which she got the impression that Ms Taylor was angry and ‘glaring’ at her.
At around 10.15pm both women ended up in the Railway pub on Blackburn Road and Ms Carroll and Ms Taylor went into the pub toilets.
The court was told that after Ms Carroll left the cubicle to wash her hands, Ms Taylor grabbed her hair ‘with both hands’ and swung her to the floor.
Mr Bruce told the jury that Ms Taylor then straddled Ms Carroll’s front, kneeling on both arms ‘pinning her down’ while she used her hair to bang her head on the floor.
The prosecution say that then in a ‘fit of rage’ Ms Taylor used her teeth to bite at Ms Carroll’s face, resulting in bites to her nose, cheek and lips – and tearing off the lobe of her left ear as she ‘ragged’ her head from side to side.
The jury heard that witnesses claimed to have found a ‘chunk’ of Ms Carroll’s hair in the sink along with the part of her ear that had been ripped off.
When challenged by witnesses at the scene, the prosecution claimed Ms Taylor said that Ms Carroll ‘deserved it’.
Mr Bruce said: “The Crown say this was a deliberate biting, it wasn’t done accidentally and it has bitten off part of the ear. It has required some degree of force and determination to do that.”
Defendant acting in 'self-defence'
When arrested, Lisa Taylor told police officers she was acting in self-defence saying the complainant ‘head-butted’ her, the jury heard.
Preston Crown Court was told that Ms Taylor claimed to have also been scratched by Carly Carroll as she left the cubicle toilet at the Railway pub.
A police officer confirmed that there was a mark consistent with a scratch on Ms Taylor.
The jury heard that Ms Taylor denied biting or ever coming into contact with Ms Carroll’s ear and claims that she pinned her down by sitting on her back to prevent further injury.
However the hearing was told that Ms Taylor thought her teeth may have connected with the top of Ms Carroll’s head when she butted her and she could have bit down in an ‘automatic response’.
Alexander Rostron, defending, said: “The defence is simply the issue of intent and the question that you need to ask and consider is – did this defendant intend to cause really serious bodily injury.”
Prosecutor David Bruce told the jury that Ms Taylor had suggested that glass on the floor of the pub toilet could have caused an accidental injury to Ms Carroll’s ear. The trial continues.